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When is My Home Loan Closing?


By: Jeremy Parker

“When is my closing?” is one of the hardest questions you can ask a residential loan officer. A lot of customers start asking when we first start working on the loan. In those cases, the honest answer is, “I have no idea.” Let me explain why. All home loans today have so many working parts that in the beginning it is impossible to know when they are all going to be finished. The closing date is something that can cause issues with the sellers and agents involved, so the last thing a loan officer wants to do is to tell you a date and be wrong.

Once your residential loan officer gets a purchase contract, we will be getting you documents that we need you to sign and request any other documentation that we might need. How fast we get that requested information back can play a role in the timetable of your closing. Depending on your lender’s own guidelines, that can even determine when the appraisal and title can even be ordered. Once that information is back, the loan officer can submit to an underwriter for the first time.

Appraisals typically are the longest part of the home loan process. They can take between two to three weeks to be completed. Once the appraisal is received, it will reviewed by the underwriter and any changes or additions will have to be sent back to the appraiser to make and then get reviewed again. Checking the title to the property can take up to two weeks. Just as the appraisal, title and any corrections that need to be made have to be approved by the underwriter.

The home loan underwriter is looking at a variety of things. They are making sure that we are using and providing the correct amount of income, making sure we have seasoned funds for closing, and even making sure we have enough dwelling coverage on your insurance. Once we finally get all of the information approved and your loan is “clear to close,” we still have to double-check items like insurance to make sure the premium hasn’t changed.

We are ready to close. Now we have to figure out a date that is at least five days away, because we have to get your Closing Disclosure (“CD”) out to you at least three business days before we close. Keep in mind, we have to have time to prepare that document and make sure it is correct. The attorney’s office has to prepare a seller CD for their side. Once all of that is done, we can close on the loan.

I wanted to give you a short idea of the complete loan process to explain that throughout the process, communication is vital. Communication that is clear and to the point can help prevent a number of issues when trying to answer the big question of “when is the closing date.” It is a loan officer’s job to explain and give correct updates throughout the loan process. All parties in a home loan deal need to be kept up to date on any and all issues with a loan. Now that doesn’t mean that a loan officer gives details of your loan, but might need to tell the agents they have not got the appraisal back or title is searching for information on a past lien. Informing the seller and agent of an issue when it is first found is always the best idea. Again keeping that clear channel of communication open will always benefit the deal.

It has been my experience that the more informed a seller is, the easier the closing is. Over the years, with the law updates and requirements, selling and buying homes can be frustrating. As a loan officer, I completely understand, because there are many times for me it’s also frustrating. Below are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when going through this process:

  • Return requested documents and information as quick as you can.
  • Go over the documents and make sure they are clear copies.
  • Once you start scheduling a closing date, make sure all parties are good with it. If it has to be changed, the closing process may have to start over again.

If you ever have any questions about home mortgages of any kind, please feel free to reach out to any loan officer at Ag Credit.

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